ASTRA Central and Eastern European Women’s Network for Sexual and Reproductive Rights and Health

May 02 2016

The Bulgarian Minister of Justice, Ms Ekatrina Zaharieva, signed the Istanbul Convention on April 21st. Bulgaria, currently chairing the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, became the 40th member state of the Council of Europe to sign the Convention.

At this date, 21 States have signed and ratified the Convention. The Group of experts on action against violence against women and domestic violence (GREVIO) has initiated the evaluation of its implementation.

Source: Council of Europe

Apr 21 2016

Parliamentarians from the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly expressed today concern about the current situation of reproductive health in Poland notably the planned initiative to completely ban abortions. In Written declaration No. 604, tabled by Belgian Senator Hon. Petra de Sutter, entitled "Reproductive health and women's rights in Poland" they called on Polish parliamentarians to go against these initiatives and protect women’s rights in Poland.

Access the declaration HERE.

Apr 19 2016

The European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (EPF) has published an open letter to the Speaker of the Polish Parliament voicing deep concerns over a draft law that would introduce a complete ban on abortion. A copy of the letter has also been sent directly to the Speaker, Hon. Marek Kuchciński.

The letter, signed by senior EPF MPs, states that:  “Academic studies, UN Reports, the World Health Organisation as well as country examples have on numerous occasions proved that legal barriers to abortion services do not decrease the rate of abortion, but increase the risk of maternal mortality.”

They continue, “It is proven that the rate of abortions can only be reduced by improving the access to contraceptives, providing comprehensive information on family planning, and introducing better policies reconciling family and work.”

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Apr 17 2016

Today, speaking as the global movement known as Catholics for Choice, we express our solidarity and unity with your struggle for the welfare, health and rights of Polish women. Extremist fundamentalists in Poland—who clearly do not have women’s interests, rights or dignity in their hearts—are trying  to pressure the body politic to enact a total ban on abortion. There is no justice in any society anywhere that forces women to suffer under laws that put prejudice before people. It doesn’t matter whether authorities dress up that injustice as politics, religion or any crass and downright dangerous ideology.

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Apr 15 2016

38 Lithuanian parliamentarians (out of a total of 141 Members of the Parliament) signed a letter addressing the Marshal of the Polish Parliament, Mr. Marek Kuchciński, regarding the recent developments in Poland and a real threat of introducing a total ban on abortion.

Thanks to strong leadership and women's rights supporter, MP Ausrine Marija Pavilioniene and Lithuanian ASTRA member - the Family Planning and Sexual Health Association, this was possible.

Access the letter HERE.

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